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Need help on medical MS program selection

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1
    Got the admissions from Wayne state univ. and Columiba univ.Both are accreditated.
    Wayne doesnt have good ranking. But It is one of the oldest in medical physics which foucses intensively on radiation therapy. Program takes 20-24 months including a recommended clinical rotation.(from the dept website)

    Columbia's program is new but also got accreditated in 2009. Program takes 16months, doesn't mention clinical rotation. Two practicum courses in one semester are included(one day a week).
    Tuition is similar.

    Which one is better for job purpose? Will the school's reputation help me a lot in job searching in this field? any people familiar with medical physics field can give me some suggestions ? I am really struggling now...

    Thanks a lot!!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2009 #2
    Out of curiosity, what sort of rankings are you looking at? The school as a whole or just the medical physics program itself? If just medical physics itself, I'm shocked something like that would exist considering how few programs there are.

    *Wayne State's medical physics program is pretty good. They have their connections with the Detroit Medical Center and decent collaboration with other area hospitals and universities.

    The downside is that you may have to live in Detroit in order to get to class easily. That is sometimes enough to scare many people away, though it really isn't as bad as many think it is. On the bright side, since the economy in general is so poor and Michigan is extra bad, the money you make will let you get by a little easier than living in NYC and going to Columbia. Maybe you could visit your choices if you haven't already?

    Good luck!

    * = I'm from the area originally so my opinion may be a little biased ;)
  4. Apr 13, 2009 #3
    Thank you , Morovia!

    Your advices are really very helpful. It is hard to find some people who knows the medical physics program in Wayne. My focus is on which program will prepare me better for the future job seeking. Do you by any chance know any grad from this program?

    Thanks again!

  5. Apr 13, 2009 #4


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    I'm not aware of any ranking system specific to medical physics and I likely wouldn't trust one very much even if it were available. CAMPEP accreditation is important in my opinion. It ensures that your program meets a standard set of criteria necessary for a graduate to begin work in the field. It is one of the major factors involved in sorting resumes for residency positions.

    I'm not overly familiar with either program listed specifically, but I would be a little wary of anyone suggesting you can walk away with a master's degree in only 16 months, unless perhaps they aren't counting summers. A master's degree should take roughly two years. And this is just my opinion, but it should include a strong research component.

    Since both schools are accredited, you can make your decision largely on personal preferences. What I would suggest, if you haven't done so already, is contact graduate students in each school and try to gauge their impressions of the program. Visit each campus. Investigate opportunities for financial support. Will you have an option to do some clinical QA work and gain experience? You may also want to check out the facilities available at each school - as not every site will have every modality.
  6. Apr 13, 2009 #5
    Thank you,Choppy!

    There is no funding available from both. So I have to apply for student loan for it.

    For Columbia:
    The program takes 4 semesters(Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall) including one summer semester for two practica courses and taking comprehensive exam.
    link for its curriculum:


    For Wayne
    Full-time students can complete the classroom component of the program in four semesters. In addition, a required research component and a recommended clinical rotation are generally completed after the classroom coursework is completed. Finally, all students must complete an exit exam before graduation. An estimate of the mean time to graduation for full-time students is approximately 20-24 months.

    link for its curriculum:
    http://radiationoncology.med.wayne.edu/medphys/student_resources/ms_plan_of_work.doc [Broken]

    So looks like Wayne will provide more clinical rotation training. It is hard to contact the graduate students in this program. Wayne has listed their facilites on the website since it is based on their medical center.(http://radiationoncology.med.wayne.edu/medphys/facilities.php [Broken])

    Columbia doesn't provide such detailed info on their website. And at this moment, it is not convenient for me to do campus visiting.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Apr 24, 2009 #6
    I am one of the graduate students at Wayne State University. Overall, I will say I am very satisfied with the medical physics training at this university. The program is very competitive and the course work very rigorous. Generally, if you work very hard, you can finish the program in 4 semesters (fall+winter+summer+fall). Students can do clinical internship afterwards but most of them chose to graduate immediately after required coursework and enter the job market. A good thing about this program is the collaboration of various local hospitals. You will be taking some courses at Henry Ford hospital. The faculty at Wayne State is excellent. Some of the professors like Dr. Joiner (Radiation Biologist) is very renowed in his field. Overall, I beleive if you decide to come to Wayne State, you will be very happy with your experience.
  8. Apr 24, 2009 #7
    Thank you!
    I have decided to accept the admission from Wayne.

  9. Apr 1, 2011 #8
    To sailing fish-can u share your experence in ms medical physics at wayne state university.how much clinical exposure did u receive and did it help.
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